Friday, February 26, 2010

The night was...



I'm a movie fan, and I have lots of the most random movies that I've enjoyed throughout the course of my twenty-something years. One of these favorite movies is "Throw Momma From The Train", from which the title for this post was taken. That's right; I might be the only person who actually thought to purchase this move on dvd, might I add, in the year 2000-and-something. In fact, this movie is one of very few that will make me laugh so hard I'm crying every time I watch it.


In this movie, Billy Crystal plays Larry, a failed writer who teaches a class at a community college and in his class is Owen, played by Danny DeVito, a mama's boy who is often downright tormented by Momma. Larry's unhappiness roots to his ex-wife stealing his novel and becoming rich as a result of publishing it...


Owen spent a good bit of the movie begging Larry to read his story, and Larry encourages Owen to see a movie which involves two men swapping potential murder victims to get rid of the alibi. Owen then gets an idea: Owen kills Larry's ex-wife, Larry kill's Owen's Momma. The perfect crime. Now, now; it's quite comical because Larry didn't actually sign up for it. No one is actually murdered.


What brought the film to mind is the fact that throughout it, Larry comes down with an extreme case of writer's block. He sits down at his type writer and writes: "The night was..."


"The night was..."


"The night was..."


"The night was hot, wait no, the night, the night was humid. The night was humid, no wait, hot, hot. The night was hot. The night was hot and wet, wet and hot. The night was wet and hot, hot and wet, wet and hot; that's humid. The night was humid."


For six months this goes on.
This line to begin the book of his, the next chapter of his life, plagued him throughout the course of the movie. In fact, he begins reading Owen's story in class and Owen's story began with "The night was humid" and he abruptly ends class, disgusted.


I want to bang my head against the wall. I have a serious case of writer's block. It's painful to be stuck on "the night was" when I really have the time and motivation to get some good things out; nothing seems to move me right now.


Sigh.


In the final scene of "Throw Momma From The Train", Owen, Larry and Momma are on a train and Larry is giving Owen one last lesson in writing. He explains the writing process and the importance of great beginnings, and Larry ends the thought in pondering, "what do you say, the night was humid or do you say the night was moist?"


Momma interrupted with "The night was sultry." (I nearly die laughing every time I see that scene...starts around 1:32)


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